Case study

Forest/woodland area manager — Tom Coates

Tom was keen to find a career that would get him working in the great outdoors and discovered that his degree in forestry and woodland management was essential to securing such a role...

How did you get your job?

I am an area manager for Egger Forestry. I started applying for jobs whilst I was still at university towards the end of the final year. I managed to get an interview for a supervisory role (harvesting manager) with Egger Forestry. After a successful second interview, I was offered the job.

For me, one of the main draws to working in forestry was the aspects of working outside

How relevant is your degree to your job?

I studied for a BSc in Forestry and Woodland Management. The subject of study was essential.

What are your main work activities?

My current role of area manager entails the purchasing of standing timber from open market sales and private negotiations, marketing the harvested timber and the supervision of active timber harvesting operations in North East England and South East England.

How has your role developed?

I was promoted to area manager after spending two years as a harvesting manager. In my previous role, I spent time assisting the other area managers and learning how to proficiently buy timber and facilitate the subsequent operations. I hope to further develop in my current role and increase my knowledge of the forestry industry.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The job is incredibly varied and quite often in involves managing your own time. For me, one of the main draws to working in forestry was the aspects of working outside, the role I am currently working in strikes an ideal balance of outside and office work, as I spend three to four days a week out in the forest and one to two days in the office.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

The most challenging part of the job is keeping people happy. Since working for Egger my communication skills have vastly improved and I am much more confident when it comes to negotiations and potentially difficult situations. Forestry is an extremely interesting sector, both economically and environmentally. Before I started the course at the university I had no idea how diverse and complex the forestry industry is.

Any words of advice for someone who wants to get into this job?

I would recommend spending time networking with people who are working in the industry as they could potentially be your employer at some point in the future. Join the Institute of Chartered Foresters and attend events such as seminars and workshops to meet people working in the industry.

Find out more

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